Mumbai’s Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for children, in association with Cipla Foundation, has set up India's first pediatric palliative care unit in Parel, Mumbai. The unit will enhance the quality of life of children being treated, and help their caregivers too.
This is the first structured palliative care service for children. It includes palliative care support for cancer as well as non-cancer conditions. The palliative care team at the unit comprises of doctors, nurses, counseling psychologists and social workers, in collaboration with physiotherapists.
The unit has been set up to see in-patients and out-patients, in order to manage pain and other distressing symptoms and to provide psycho-social and spiritual support through holistic approach.
Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospitals, Parel, said, “To help children with life limiting or chronic illnesses like severe malformations, organ failure, and genetic diseases, along with caregivers, pediatric palliative care services have been started in the hospital. Unfortunately in India, palliative care is for oncology patients, and there are no centers dedicated for ailments like organ failure or genetic diseases.”
Dr Bodhanwala explained, “The team will work with you and your child to make a care plan for your family. The team will help children gain the strength to carry on with daily life. Thus, it meets the emotional and developmental needs of the patients. Not only this, the team may help patients and families explore their beliefs and values so they can move toward acceptance and peace.”
Mr Romana Hamid, Managing Trustee, Cipla Foundation, said, “Cipla first started a dedicated palliative care centre in Pune over 20 years ago. The need for palliative care in India is growing and we have been striving to make palliative care accessible to as many patients and families, as early on as possible. The partnership to launch the first pediatric palliative care OPD at Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital is a step in this direction.”